Jamaica News: The Bureau of Gender Affairs (BGA) will be implementing a young fathers’ programme aimed at encouraging young men to play more active roles in their children’s lives.
Research Officer at the BGA, Nashan Miller, said the programme will be undertaken in collaboration with the Women’s Centre of Jamaica Foundation, which provides support for pregnant girls, aged 17 and under, to continue their secondary education.
“They have their babymother programmes and some of these fathers will be sensitised in terms of how to be nurturers, how to raise their children and how to be better partners,” Mr. Miller told JIS News during an interview at a two-day Men and Masculinity workshop at the Courtyard by Marriott Hotel in New Kingston, on September 27.
Additionally, he said the BGA, an agency of the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, is planning a “mentorship in schools programme”, to be carried out at several institutions.
“We are looking at a few schools where we want to have some of our male group networks and individuals becoming mentors, and to help some of the young men,” he added.
Mr Miller, who is the Lead Representative with a Special Service Desk for Men at the BGA, said the Bureau will also host a series of workshops to deal with issues relating to males and understanding gender equality.
He said that the workshops are being planned for International Men’s Day, on November 19.
“We have positive fathering with the Institute for Gender and Development Studies. That project is basically looking at men and their roles and experiences as fathers,” he said.
Mr. Miller pointed out that focus group sessions will be conducted islandwide “to understand these men in their natural setting and what it is that influences them to be fathers”.
The Research Officer said men and boys, as well as women, can call the Special Service Desk, located at the Bureau’s offices.
He noted that the Desk has been assisting persons “with issues concerning their relationships and experiences”.
“If we don’t know [how to treat with those], we will refer them to other agencies and groups that can assist,” Mr. Miller added.
The Special Service Desk was established in April 2016 to assist men and boys in alleviating major socio-economic challenges they experience, such as crime and violence.
Source: JIS News